• Quote of the Day
    "Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
    John Wooden, posted by David Baxter

Jesse910

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Recently, I started having symptoms for something completely unrelated to meds I've taken for years re bp which has been in remission for a long time. I called the advice nurse and as soon as she started asking what meds I was taking, I started hedging. I didn't want to go there. When she figured out that they must be psych meds, I refused to confirm and somehow got the basic info I needed to handle my current problem and hung up.

The same thing occurred two years ago when I had to go to ER. The doctor asked what meds I was taking and I said, none. Yet, when she pulled up my chart on the computer, everything was out there. I felt like she did a 360 on me. I advised her that nothing on that screen pertained to my current condition because it clearly didn't. She then attempted to pursue a dialogue with me about b/p which I refused because I felt that it was an invasion of my privacy.

I still hide. Even though it's been forever since I was diagnosed, the more removed I am from the diagnosis, the better. I gave up my shrink last yr to further remove myself. I have always wanted to be treated like a normal person. I don't want to be handled with kid gloves. Has anyone else figured out a way to deal with this in a way that provides dignity and compassion?
 

ladylore

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For myself, its all in the perception. I have been diagnosed with addiction, PTSD and depression. I use to feel the way you describe and that's why I avoided getting help for so long. I now look at it as a health issue. A bit like the flu. I am no longer embarassed by it as it is what it is. With the diagnosis I could affort to take the time off necessary to look after me. Its been a blessing in disguise.

Ladylore
 

David Baxter

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It's a tricky thing, because most of us are not in a position to fully evaluate what the medications we take can and cannot do.

In my recent stay in hospital, I encountered a complication which partly evidenced itself in elevated values in one of the liver tests. One of the first things they did was discontinue my blood pressure medication until they could figure out what was causing the elevation, I gather not because that's a known side effect of the medication but because of the possibility that it could be interacting in some ways with either the blood tests or other medication I was on.

I do understand your wish for privacy but the reality is that unless you are honest with your health care professionals you really cannot expect them to help you to the fullest extent. And when you try to hide the fact that you are on certain medications, from their standpoint it makes sense that they would wonder what other relevant or even critical information you may be withholding.
 

Daniel

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Intentional non-disclosure could also potentially make it more difficult to successfully sue a doctor or hospital for malpractice since antidepressants can affect blood pressure and other body systems.
 

Jesse910

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I understand what you each are saying and I agree. There are times when I am forced to deal. And, I made the decision years ago to never sue a medical establishment or medical professional because of the subject matter. I still carry the shame of this crap and when I have to deal with it head on, it just makes it worse for me when I leave because I feel like everyone is watching/judging me. Having this illness makes me feel like a freak. Even when I feel like crap, which I do today, I force myself to deal. I'm sincerely glad that each of you has found a way to handle your stuff. For me, it is a struggle. The reason I left my shrink is because during our last session, she divulged that her own father was crazy because he was taking meds. If she felt that way about her own dad, heavens knows how she really felt about me after my years of seeing her. I live and work in an evironment where appearances are everything.

I apologize for venting. I'm just trying to get through today. Thanks for listening.
 

Retired

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Jesse,

Never any need to apologize for venting here on Psychlinks. You can feel comfortable and safe to share your feelings, and know you will get support and information to help deal with your situation.

Probably each one of us has had to deal with the stigma of one illness or disorder at one time or another in our lives.

As has been said, witholding information from a health care provider is counter productive and even dangerous.

It takes time to overcome the feelings of shame and stigma, but they can be overcome by talking openly about the illness with people who have a common interest with you.

After speaking the words and hearing about the similar experiences of others, the shame and embarrasment eventually diminishes.
 

Daniel

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TSOW said:
After speaking the words and hearing about the similar experiences of others, the shame and embarrasment eventually diminishes.

Similarly, one source of inspiration are people in prominent, very public positions who write books of their condition, e.g. Dr. Jamison and her memoir An Unquiet Mind.

Also:

Famous People With Bipolar Disorder
 
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Miette

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I called the advice nurse and as soon as she started asking what meds I was taking, I started hedging. I didn't want to go there. When she figured out that they must be psych meds, I refused to confirm and somehow got the basic info I needed to handle my current problem and hung up.

The doctor asked what meds I was taking and I said, none. Yet, when she pulled up my chart on the computer, everything was out there. I felt like she did a 360 on me. I advised her that nothing on that screen pertained to my current condition because it clearly didn't. She then attempted to pursue a dialogue with me about b/p which I refused because I felt that it was an invasion of my privacy.

What really struck me about you post Jesse is that in both cases, the stigma that you are dealing with is YOUR stigma about mental illness. It doesn't appear from your description that the nurse or ER doc held any prejudiced thoughts against you, it was you who were uncomfortable with your condition. I want to give you some advice. When I first talked to my primary care doc about being bipolar, I was uncomfortable and nervous and, like you, wanted to avoid it. It helped for me to say to him "Well, it's really hard for me to discuss this as I am embarrassed about it, but I am taking lithium for bipolar disorder." That way he knew my feelings about it, and the discussion that followed was sensitive and professional.
 

begonia

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During the many periods that I took antidepressants, I too would often skip telling the doctor that I was taking them. This was usually when I was in for some sort of regular check-up. The thought that would go through my head was, "If I'm acting cheerful, they'll figure it's because I'm on medication and that's not the real me." But there are literally millions of people on meds, given the number of prescriptions written per year. So seeing a patient on any kind of meds is nothing new or unusual for a health care professional. It's very, very common. So I realize that my thinking was just my projecting how *I* was feeling onto the doctor. The doctor undoubtedly wouldn't think anything about it and was just trying to get a history and be sure that any new medication wouldn't clash with any other.
 
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